The Criminal Assets Bureau and Gardaí have raided a number of properties connected with key members of a Louth-based criminal gang this morning, in connection with a major investigation into fuel-laundering.
This morning, around 200 officers from the Gardaí, CAB, the Regional Support Unit and Revenue raided 19 homes, businesses and warehouses in 10 counties supported by the Emergency Response Unit, the Garda Air Support Unit and the Air Corps.
The 19 searches were carried out in counties Louth, Monaghan, Dublin, Kildare, Waterford, Offaly, Roscommon, Westmeath, Meath and Tipperary as part of 'Operation Loft'.
A number of similar raids have been carried out by around 100 PSNI and Customs officers north of the border.
Operation Loft is a major multi agency and cross-jurisdictional investigation into the profits generated by the illegal fuel trade. It is focusing on a criminal gang based in Co Louth.
Officers are searching for evidence of oil fraud and money laundering. They are dismantling the laundering machines, seizing vehicles as well as cash and other assets, and freezing bank accounts.
Gardaí say the sole purpose of this morning's operation is to gather evidence of this illegal activity, which represents a significant loss to the Irish Exchequer.